Card skimmers had fraud factory


By Paul Thornton

A PAIR of fraudsters were caught using cloned cards to take out over £1,000 from an ATM by an off duty policeman.

Hungarian and Romanian nationals Krisztan Racz, 31, and Horea Dumitru, 22, used laptops, mobile phones, memory cards and fake bank machine fascias to clone several cards before using them to withdraw money from machines.

But their scheme was rumbled when an off duty policeman came across them emptying an ATM in Edinburgh in March.

And when officers raided their home they found a card cloning factory complete with everything needed to make fake debit cards.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court they admitted one charge of fraud and another of having the paraphernalia associated with card cloning.


Fiscal depute Ruth Ross Davie told the court how the pair were caught in the act on March 1 this year, before a raid on their Broughton Road home revealed their card cloning factory.

Miss Ross Davie said: “They were seen by an off-duty police officer acting in a manner which was suspicious at an automated teller machine at Tesco in Meadow Place Road.

“He saw them insert various cars and PIN numbers into the machine and obtain a total sum of £1140.

“These cards transpired to be what is known as cloned cards.

“Other police officers were called and Mr Racz and Mr Dumitru were taken to St Leonards Police Station.

“It is fair to say that what was seen and what was captured on CCTV was that Mr Racz was the person inserting the cards through the false fascia and Mr Dumitru was acting as a look out.”

The home shared by the Hungarian and Romanian at Broughton Road in Edinburgh was raided.

Computer programmes

Police found 24 of the fake fascia used to trick people as well as computer programmes on lap tops, mobile phones, memory cards and gift cards, all of which were used to make cloned cards.

Miss Ross Davie added: “So Mr Racz and Mr Dumitru had under their control various items designed and adapted to make the counterfeit cards.”

She added that all of the money had been recovered from the pair but asked that almost £5,000 in cash which was found at their home is forfeited by the pair.

Sheriff James Scott denied this request, stating that the money should go back to its rightful owners and deferred sentence on the pair, until next month.

They were remanded in custody until then.